Pun: ਚੰਡੀਗੜ੍ਹ chanḍīgaṛh

’Chandi’s Fort’. 

From Chandi and Pun: gaṛh, ‘fort’.

No actual fort ever existed. A Chandi temple protected the locals and gave the city its name. Chandika Devi is a powerful, terrifying aspect of Parvati, the Supreme Goddess. Chandi manifests herself to dispense justice and destroy evil.

After Partition Punjab was divided into two states. East Punjab became part of the new Republic of India but without Lahore, its former capital. Jawaharlal Nehru, the new Prime Minister, commissioned Albert Mayer to design and plan a new city, Chandigarh. Chandigarh became a Union Territory in 1966.

When the Hindi-speaking areas of Punjab separated to form Haryana, Chandigarh became the capital of both states. But as a Union Territory it is not a part of either of them. It is known as the ‘City Beautiful’ but it is also officially India’s richest and cleanest city [see video: ‘Chandigarh in Motion’].

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